LA CRESCENTA — The Crescenta Valley High boys’ basketball team got pushed by Burbank in Friday’s Pacific League game.
Down by nine points early in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs started draining three-pointers and not only grabbed the momentum but also jumped in front of the host Falcons.
But Crescenta Valley responded to the challenge like a team determined to remain within striking distance of the league leaders. The Falcons stopped the Burbank run, wrestled back control of the contest and ultimately turned back the Bulldogs to gain a 62-55 victory.
The Falcons (19-4, 8-2 in league) — ranked No. 6 in CIF Southern Section Division I-A — can ill afford a loss at this time of the season if they hope to keep their hopes of a league championship alive. With Muir (21-1, 10-0) and Pasadena (16-6, 9-1) also picking up wins Friday night, Crescenta Valley sits in third place two games off the pace.
“We don’t like to look too far ahead, but we have some tough games coming up and the playoffs after that. It’s going to be a test for us,” Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Zargarian said. “It’s good to be pushed in a game like this.”
While the Falcons are soaring, winning their fourth straight, the Bulldogs (11-12, 4-6) — who have three straight losses — are just trying to hold on for a playoff spot. Burbank had leads in all three of its games this week, but ended up losing the three contests.
“We think we can play with any team in this league,” Burbank Coach Jose Hernandez said. “It’s just a matter of us being able to put everything together. We were missing some players today with injuries and other things and we had some guys playing in different positions.”
The Falcons were paced by senior Christian Misi, who tallied 23 points to go along with 13 rebounds. Teammate Davis Dragovich chipped in 10 points.
Burbank received a fine effort of its own from senior Remy Youssefi. He led all scorers with 26 points, including three three-pointers. Adrian Chavez added 14.
Crescenta Valley was in control in the fourth quarter and went up by nine with just under seven minutes remaining on a dunk by Rudy Avala. But Burbank got hot, draining three three-pointers — two from Youssefi — and going on an 11-0 run to take a two-point advantage with 5:38 remaining.
But the Falcons came right back with a long-range response. Dragovich and Cole Currie tallied a three-pointer apiece to put Crescenta Valley back in control, 52-48.
“We knew we had some guys who were struggling when they made that run,” Misi said. “But we didn’t back down and I thought we did a good job at battling and coming back.”
The Bulldogs didn’t let the Falcons get too big of a lead early in the game, as Crescenta Valley led at the half, 26-22, and had a 42-37 advantage after three quarters.